Employee Voices

Embracing the Rich Tapestry of MENA

Employees celebrate culture and connections from the Middle East and North Africa.



Read time: 5.5 minutes

At McKesson, we have nearly a dozen employee resource groups (ERGs) where our team members can connect and build an even stronger and more diverse, equitable and inclusive community. These groups bring together people with similar interests and experiences – as well as their allies – in areas including race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, career stage and military status.

We’re pleased to introduce one of our newest ERGs, MENA, which shines a spotlight on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Meet two McKesson team members who appreciate the new ERG's ability to let them share their heritage and life experiences to strengthen connections, foster a sense of belonging and make McKesson a better place for employees and the people we serve.

Sharon Tehrani: Senior Manager, Organization Effectiveness and Change Leadership

Sharon Tehrani

Growing up, Sharon knew she was different from other kids in her small town. The youngest daughter of immigrants from Iran, Sharon looked different. She spoke a different second language, Farsi. She ate different foods. Her family followed a different religion and celebrated different holidays.

“When you're young, you don't realize that there are different kinds of people in the world, and that’s okay,” she recalls. “Being different was scary, so I felt I had to hide who I was to feel safe and be accepted.”

It wasn’t until 2013, when she moved to Dallas to work for a luxury retailer, that she became comfortable talking about her Persian background.

“After having spent my whole life in small towns, I was finally living in a big metropolitan city with a melting pot of cultures, races, religions and ethnicities,” she says. “It felt safe, and I decided to open up and be honest about who I am and what my background is.”

She worked in corporate retail roles for six years before moving to McKesson, where today she helps lead organization design and effectiveness, as well as change management across McKesson Medical-Surgical, McKesson Canada, McKesson Technology and other corporate functions.

“I wanted to diversify my skillset and my industry,” she explains. “My family has been directly impacted by cancer, paraplegia and heart disease, and I've witnessed first-hand the role McKesson plays in the lives of patients and their families. It's heartwarming to be a part of something so meaningful.”

When the MENAERG launched in 2021, Sharon found a new layer of meaning to her McKesson career. She now cherishes the opportunity to share her experiences, network, learn and build a community throughout the company.

“There's wonderful diversity across McKesson that I wanted to tap into,” she says. “Because I am introverted, I tend to focus on my projects, but through MENA, I’ve connected with people I wouldn't otherwise have met, and I feel more comfortable making connections outside of my team.”

She has participated in meet-and-greet events and a virtual happy hour featuring MENA trivia. She found the experience so valuable that she brought it back to her own team, sharing more about her Persian culture and background on Iran’s rich traditions and holidays.

“Community and a sense of belonging matters,” she says. “Feeling validated and comfortable to express yourself and be your authentic self matters. That’s what I’ve found here. McKesson truly walks the talk and embodies diversity and inclusion. It’s not just words on a website. McKesson cares about its employees. I feel like everyone has my best interest in mind, and I feel supported to grow my career as an Iranian-American woman.”

Hammad Rizvi: Director, Video Marketing Studio

Hammad Rizvi

Hammad is a third-culture kid – a term referring to those who have grown up in a culture different from their home country or that of their parents.

Hammad was born to Pakistani immigrants in Oklahoma and raised in Texas. However, at an early age, Hammad’s family moved to Saudi Arabia.

“It was a culture shock,” Hammad remembers. “Growing up in Saudi Arabia, everything from the dress codes to the cultural norms were quite different from what I was used to in America. However, the more time I spent there and immersed myself in the community, the more I appreciated our similarities and differences.”

Hammad soon forged a diverse circle of local and expat friends who further eased his transition.

“We embraced our own identities as well as the larger local identity,” he says. “Soon, we were swapping burgers for Shawarmas and dipping French fries in za’atar. I loved it.”

In addition to his culinary tastes, Hammad’s worldview also expanded. He traveled throughout the Middle East. He spent time camping in the desert, diving in the Red Sea, and learning Arabic. Ultimately, much of his adolescence was shaped by his rich, cultural experiences in the region.

Unfortunately, there was unrest in some parts of the Middle East during Hammad’s time there. But, he explains that this exposure helped him reflect in many ways.

“I learned and believed in the universality of kindness, compassion and acceptance of others,” he says. “I am glad that I grew up knowing that the ways in which we’re similar are much more powerful than our differences. This is a concept I carry with me to this day.”

Hammad returned to Texas for college, graduating with degrees in finance and film production. He’s since produced and directed films that highlight global social issues, particularly in South Asia and the Middle East. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hammad decided to explore new ways to make a meaningful impact using his passion for storytelling.

“I heard about McKesson, and a job opening there looked like a fit,” he said. He was hired, and he now heads McKesson’s video production team working on brand marketing and internal and external corporate communications.

He joined the Pan-Asian Voices for Excellence (PAVE) and the Emerging Professionals (EP) ERGs, and when MENA launched, he joined that as well.

“I like to be an ambassador and share what I love most about MENA,” he explains. “This region offers so much diversity, beauty and rich experiences in the most unexpected ways. Living there was a positive experience for me, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about this area. I want to help alleviate misunderstandings and ensure the region’s voice is represented accurately.”

Hammad sees the MENAERG as a natural progression of McKesson’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Having these opportunities to get to know people individually and foster a better understanding is another reason I enjoy working here,” he says. “At McKesson, we can connect and be ourselves around each other. It's a place where we are all accepted for who we are.”